Michigan Health Watch

In-depth reporting on the intersection between public policy and important health topics ‒ such as insurance coverage, hospital admissions, opioid abuse, access to care, medical research and the business of health care ‒ that impact nearly every Michigan resident. 

Articles

Large jump in Michigan deaths outside hospitals as coronavirus raged

Large jump in Michigan deaths outside hospitals as coronavirus raged

July 2, 2020 | Robin Erb

Fear of contracting the virus at hospitals appears to have kept many patients from seeking care, including a large number of people suffering strokes or heart attacks. 

Michigan hospitals hardest hit by coronavirus get $850M, say they need more

Michigan hospitals hardest hit by coronavirus get $850M, say they need more

July 1, 2020 | Robin Erb, Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

Even with federal relief funds intended for providers slammed by COVID-19 patients, some hospitals say they are still shedding jobs to balance their books during the outbreak.    

Trinity Health Michigan lays off, furloughs another 1,000 employees

Trinity Health Michigan lays off, furloughs another 1,000 employees

June 30, 2020 | Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

Layoffs and schedule reductions for 1,000 full-time workers or their equivalents will begin this week and continue through the end of July at Trinity Health Michigan, which includes the St. Joseph Mercy Health System and Mercy Health. 

The painful truth: A wife with questions gets answers from a nurse who saw her husband die

The painful truth: A wife with questions gets answers from a nurse who saw her husband die

June 28, 2020 | Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

The pain of not knowing what happened to her husband after she dropped him off at a Detroit Hospital, torments Denise Chandler. A former nurse helps.

Are Michigan gyms safe during coronavirus? A study in Norway suggests yes.

Are Michigan gyms safe during coronavirus? A study in Norway suggests yes.

June 26, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

A government study in May involving five indoor gyms in Oslo found that gym members practicing modest safety precautions did not increase the spread of COVID-19. Skeptics say they would like to see broader studies before accepting the findings.

Coronavirus outbreaks tied to migrant farm workers in Michigan

Coronavirus outbreaks tied to migrant farm workers in Michigan

June 25, 2020 | Robin Erb, Jonathan Oosting

COVID-19 is flaring up statewide among migrant workers. Experts say close quarters, crops that won’t wait, mistrust are perfect growing conditions for outbreaks.

Report: Michigan hospitals shorted $130K per COVID-19 patient in federal aid

Report: Michigan hospitals shorted $130K per COVID-19 patient in federal aid

June 24, 2020 | Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, Robin Erb

A new report highlights disparities in how federal coronavirus relief money was distributed, suggesting Michigan hospitals were shorted.

Coronavirus outbreak traced to East Lansing pub after Michigan bars reopen

Coronavirus outbreak traced to East Lansing pub after Michigan bars reopen

June 23, 2020 | Robin Erb

Though the 18 people whose infections were traced to an East Lansing restaurant weren’t seriously sick, their positive tests raise concerns about the virus’ spread to others.

In Michigan nursing homes, a no-win choice between infection and isolation

In Michigan nursing homes, a no-win choice between infection and isolation

June 18, 2020 | Robin Erb

In lockdown against coronavirus, families face Father’s Day still separated from loved ones in Michigan’s long-term care facilities.

Beaumont Health eyes merger with out-of-state hospital system Advocate Aurora

Beaumont Health eyes merger with out-of-state hospital system Advocate Aurora

June 17, 2020 | JC Reindl, Detroit Free Press

Beaumont said it has signed a nonbinding letter of intent with Advocate Aurora Health, a 28-hospital system in Illinois and Wisconsin.

For now, Michigan is a success story in flattening the pandemic curve

For now, Michigan is a success story in flattening the pandemic curve

June 17, 2020 | Robin Erb

Counted as cases, deaths or positive test results, COVID-19 sinks to lowest sustained levels in three months in Michigan.

Extraordinary surgery in Michigan gives mom, daughters new faces

Extraordinary surgery in Michigan gives mom, daughters new faces

June 16, 2020 | Robin Erb

A rare disorder, Crouzen syndrome, dramatically disfigures the skull and face. More than cosmetic repair, the series of procedures reshapes the skull, relieving pressure on the brain and repairing hearing and vision loss and other problems.

More than 1,900 coronavirus deaths in Michigan nursing homes

More than 1,900 coronavirus deaths in Michigan nursing homes

June 15, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Ted Roelofs, Robin Erb

Michigan health officials finally announced the death toll for nursing homes and the results were sobering. Dozens of nursing homes had 20 deaths or more.

Feds halt emergency use of coronavirus drug backed by Trump

Feds halt emergency use of coronavirus drug backed by Trump

June 15, 2020 | Robin Erb

Early hopes that hydroxychloroquine could help treat COVID-19 patients have been dashed by research that questions the drug’s efficacy and safety. It does not appear the FDA's ruling will impact a Michigan clinical trial.

From couch potato to bike trails: a coronavirus silver lining in Michigan

From couch potato to bike trails: a coronavirus silver lining in Michigan

June 15, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

Stir-crazy from quarantine, Michiganders are snapping up bicycles as fast as stores can stock them. Hunting and fishing license purchases are also up dramatically as residents find comfort and urgency in exploring more of the outdoors.

Coronavirus lays bare health disparities amid Michigan protests

Coronavirus lays bare health disparities amid Michigan protests

June 11, 2020 | Robin Erb

Some protesters in Michigan say they are focused on police brutality. Others see George Floyd’s death as “a crisis within crisis within a crisis,” with structural racism the common thread. 

Sinai-Grace nurses file lawsuit, allege patients died because hospital was short-staffed

Sinai-Grace nurses file lawsuit, allege patients died because hospital was short-staffed

June 11, 2020 | Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

Sinai-Grace nurses: Dozens died because a Detroit hospital was short-staffed.

Michigan gives no coronavirus data on thousands of seniors and disabled

Michigan gives no coronavirus data on thousands of seniors and disabled

June 10, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

State health officials say they will finally reveal COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes. But this leaves out tens of thousands of vulnerable residents at homes for the aged, adult foster care and unlicensed assisted-living facilities.

Michigan hospitals reopen to visitors after coronavirus, but rules vary

Michigan hospitals reopen to visitors after coronavirus, but rules vary

June 9, 2020 | Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

Here is what you need to know about resuming visits to Michigan hospitals following restrictions to stem the flow of the coronavirus.      

Northern Michigan braced for coronavirus surge that has yet to arrive

Northern Michigan braced for coronavirus surge that has yet to arrive

June 8, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer broadly reopened much of northern Michigan over the Memorial Day Weekend. More than two weeks later, few new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed across the region.

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